'The Bachelor' recap: Ben Higgins breaks Becca Tilley and Emily Ferguson's hearts
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/16/2016
The Bachelor star Ben Higgins cut two bachelorettes and broke a couple of hearts while spending a week in his hometown of Warsaw, Indiana during Monday night's broadcast on ABC.
Ben sent Emily Ferguson, a 22-year-old cocktail waitress and twin from Las Vegas, NV, home at the end of their one-on-one date. Despite getting to be the only woman to meet Ben's parents, the Bachelor decided she was too young for him and he couldn't see her as his wife.
"I think I am just very shocked, but the fact I even got the chance to come here and meet someone so amazing is an absolute blessing. I think what hurts the most is just rejection. I'll always wonder what didn't he see in me? Why not me? Whoever ends up with Ben is a very lucky girl. I wish so badly I could say Ben is mine, but I can't," Emily said in tears following her ouster.
Ben later eliminated Becca Tilley a 26-year-old chiropractic assistant from San Diego, CA, during the episode's Rose Ceremony. Becca was angry because she had asked Ben not to blindside her, however, he didn't have his mind made up until the last second.
"It's just so frustrating. It makes me feel like why would I keep putting myself in this position? I want someone who loves me back. I don't want to be alone," an emotional Becca explained.
The Bachelor broadcast began with Ben and his six remaining bachelorettes traveling to Warsaw, where Ben grew up and was heavily involved in the community. Seven weeks into this journey, Ben got to sit down with his parents at a restaurant for a little chat.
Ben summed up each girl for his parents. He said there was a good side of Becca he couldn't get enough of, but at the same time, she tended to be very standoffish at times. Ben called Joelle "JoJo" Fletcher, a 24-year-old real estate developer from Dallas, TX, "unbelievably beautiful" and noted he acts more like himself with her than any other girl.
Ben admitted he still had a lot of questions about Emily even though she's a great girl, and then he said something about Lauren Bushnell, a 25-year-old flight attendant from Marina Del Rey, CA, stood out. However, the prior week wasn't great. Ben explained Caila Quinn, a 23-year-old software sales representative from Hudson, OH, was beautiful but scared to fall in love.
And lastly, Ben noted Amanda Stanton, a 25-year-old esthetician from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, was shockingly beautiful and incredible but she has two children from a previous marriage. Ben could say that, without a doubt, he was falling in love.
Meanwhile, Lauren B. was anxiously awaiting the chance to talk to Ben after a girl threw her under the bus and said she's a different person around Ben compared to who she is around her fellow bachelorettes. Lauren didn't want Ben to be concerned she wasn't being herself. She felt uneasy and needed to gain confidence again in where they stood in their relationship.
Ben met the girls at the house they were staying at and asked Lauren out on the first one-on-one date. She had only 30 minutes to get ready. Everyone cared so much for Ben at this point that the competition was very intense. Becca complained it was tough to watch other girls get validation or more attention right in front of her because she needed more to feel secure.
JoJo and Becca discussed how Ben asking Lauren out to her face seemed more intimate, and they were clearly jealous over it. JoJo worried she was going to put her guard up again because it was difficult thinking about the clear connection Ben had with Lauren.
For their date, Lauren and Ben drove around in a pickup truck and the Bachelor gave her a tour of his hometown, pointing out memorable places for him like his high school, church and the old movie theater where he had his first kiss in seventh grade. The couple then spent the day at the Youth Club where Ben used to work. It's a place where kids from troubled families can go after school to have fun.
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Lauren blended right in with the little girls and everyone seemed to adore her. Lauren was also blown away by how wonderful Ben was with the kids. She knew he'd make an amazing father one day. Ben also surprised all the children with a visit from a few of the Indiana Pacers players. Even Lauren was overwhelmed because she apparently grew up playing basketball.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Amanda was talking to the girls about how she needed to feel 100% confident in a man in order to introduce him to her two children. She absolutely needed more time with Ben before that would be possible.
Back on Lauren and Ben's date, the Bachelor brought her back to his place where they engaged in deep conversation. The couple talked about the accusations against Lauren and she said she felt helpless because she didn't know how to show him the claims weren't true. Lauren said the idea another bachelorette cast doubt in his mind about their relationship made her feel sick to her stomach.
Ben told Lauren he just didn't want to be blindsided. He also assured her one person saying something wouldn't change how he felt about her and he truly trusted her. The day at the Youth Club with Lauren brought their relationship full circle. Lauren was thrilled to be on the same page again.
That night, Ben and Lauren went to a dive bar where he introduced her to a bunch of his friends and old acquaintances. It was a true breakthrough in Lauren's feelings for Ben.
"I am not in love with Ben the Bachelor. I am in love with Ben from Warsaw, Indiana. I learned that today, and I feel so confident saying that. And yeah, I'm in love with Ben!" Lauren told the cameras.
JoJo ended up getting the second one-on-one date of the week. Emily was discouraged because she saw two women she was intimated by receive more time with Ben. JoJo knew she needed to open up to Ben more.
For their date, Ben took JoJo to Chicago and planned a very special afternoon for them. The pair went to Wrigley Field, and as a huge Cubs fan, Ben was ecstatic. The couple had the whole field to themselves and they played baseball. JoJo "hit it out of the park." However, she didn't feel safe enough to give Ben her heart although she had really strong feelings for him.
Ben acknowledged they had a deep, passionate relationship, but she had trust issues. He wanted her to feel confident in what they had.
The couple also enjoyed dinner right on the field. JoJo continually impressed Ben and he was sure he was falling for her. But JoJo was skeptical and holding back. He needed to take the next step with JoJo and see her vulnerable side so they could keep building on their relationship before hometowns.
Ben told JoJo that when she got scared, he did too. There were moments he felt so close to her and could laugh with her, but then Ben explained it's like she disappears.
Ben questioned JoJo to what extent her feelings were there for him. JoJo just needed to feel safe to relinquish her fears. Her insecurity came from loving someone more than he cared about her. She gave 150% every time and she really cared about Ben more than anything but she was simply scared. Ben got it and accepted it. He was excited about what they had.
"I want you to know that my heart is ready to give to you... So don't doubt me... I'm more team Ben than I've ever been," JoJo told the Bachelor as she let her guard down again and fall in love.
The next day, Ben embarked on a group date with Caila, Amanda and Becca. Emily had cried with joy that she was going to receive a one-on-one date with Ben.
Ben and the girls went to a farm, where they rowed canoes, flew kites and just enjoyed the sunshine. However, the three-on-one date quickly became awkward and uncomfortable.
There was a rose up for grabs on this date, and Ben explained it was going to someone he was certain about -- someone whose family he was really excited to meet. The person to earn the rose would also get one-on-one time with Ben that night.
Amanda has never introduced any man she's dated to her two children, so it shocked her that she was actually willing to take Ben home. She really cared for him but needed reassurance in order to become vulnerable. Amanda said that showing Ben "the mom side" of her was her way of being really open.
Meanwhile, Becca was stressed out, insecure and doubting things. Becca needed something from Ben because everyone else had validation through extra one-on-one dates or group roses. She told Ben there was nothing setting her apart from the other women. Becca was desperate to hear certain words back from Ben, but he just wasn't offering them up.
Becca told the cameras that just because she didn't have emotional breakdowns, it didn't mean she was less invested in Ben than anyone else. She was going crazy and begged Ben not to blindside her because she liked him so much.
Afterward, Caila admitted to Ben she didn't have much of a community to show Ben at home, which worried her because that was so important to him. People at home supported Ben, but Caila didn't have deep roots and she "moved 17 times before college." She didn't have meaningful places to share with him.
Ben then asked if Caila wanted to keep moving around or settle down in one place and she said she'd be fine with either option. She called herself an "adaptable" person. Caila hoped Ben meeting her parents would be enough.
In the end, Ben felt most confident in his relationship with Amanda, so he gave her the rose. Becca cried to the cameras saying she got nothing from Ben and her family was important too. She didn't know what more she could do and didn't want to feel this way about a guy she was falling in love with.
Amanda therefore got a one-on-one date that night, and Ben surprisingly took her to McDonalds. Ben said it was one of his favorite frequent spots. They got behind the counter and worked the drive through, and the couple seemed to have a blast. Their conversation that night was also very valuable. Amanda never expected to feel so strongly about Ben so soon.
Ben then surprised Amanda with a carnival and hundreds of people gathered from Ben's hometown. Amanda could see herself ending up with Ben, living there with him and sharing an amazing life together.
"I feel like I'm so close to falling in love with him right now," Amanda said in a confessional.
Amanda felt like the luckiest girl in the world and the couple kissed on a carousel and atop a Ferris wheel.
The next day, Ben brought Emily on a one-on-one date. He hoped to gain a better idea of what they could be like in the future. Once her sister Haley Ferguson left, Ben saw a side of Emily that was mature and self-aware. Emily showed Ben her own individual self, but the problem was, it happened late in the game and Ben questioned if she was ready to be a wife.
Emily figured she was meeting Ben's parents and she was right. The girls all expected it back at the house as well.
Caila told the cameras Emily was like a "bright-eyed puppy" and everything is new to her. Caila said she has a lot to learn and therefore probably wouldn't be a good match for Ben.
Emily was so excited and nervous to meet Ben's parents. She tried to be herself and got to have a little one-on-one conversation with his mother.
Emily talked a lot about what she learned about herself throughout this process and how she had so many goals left to accomplish in life, like becoming a professional cheerleader. Emily admitted she was young but insisted she was ready to be a wife and start a family.
Ben's mom thought Emily was fun and energetic but too young. She told Ben that Emily spoke a lot about her own aspirations and nothing about his. Ben's mom actually started crying because things were getting serious fast and Emily's uncertainty about life scared her.
Ben and his father had the same concerns about Emily in regards to whether she was prepared to get married. Ben started thinking his concerns were valid and actually held weight. Emily, however, was on Cloud 9 and gushed to the cameras about how she'd love to join Ben's family.
Emily felt so overwhelmed with happiness, especially because he chose her for that meaningful date. But Ben knew what he was looking for in a wife, and he said it wasn't fair for anyone to be there if he was certain there wasn't a future. Ben then brought Emily back to the girls' house and broke up with her.
Ben got choked up as he dumped Emily because he knew she was an incredible girl. It was a tough goodbye for him but he knew it was the right thing to do. Emily later bawled to her fellow bachelorettes, which made the women cry and comfort her. It seemed like they felt Emily's pain and it was clear how smitten these girls were with Ben.
Right before the Rose Ceremony, Ben vented to host Chris Harrison that he didn't know what decision to make. Caila called Ben the man of her dreams but felt something was off, and she was wondering if Ben was reconsidering their relationship. Chris advised Ben to think about which girls he could truly love and see himself being married to.
Ben confessed his relationship with one woman hadn't gotten to the same place as the others. So with that said, Ben handed out roses to Lauren, JoJo, and Caila. Amanda already had one from the group date.
Ben was in tears as he eliminated Becca, who stopped holding the Bachelor's hand in frustration as he walked her out because she had asked him not to blindside her.
When they talked, Ben said he wasn't certain about whom to eliminate until the last minute and it wasn't fair to bring her family into this when he was uncertain about them as a couple. Becca was at least thankful for getting eliminated before her hometown date.